Marka acquires Reem Al Bawadi

RetailME Bureau

UAE-based retailer Marka has acquired restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi as part of a deal valued at AED315 million, being financed by both the company’s own funds and banks. The sale was arranged and coordinated by the advisory firm PineTree Capital.

“Our strategy is to look at UAE businesses that are in need of management expertise and particularly capital injection. We have plans in place to scale these businesses relatively quickly — in 18-24 month period,” shares Nick Peel, chief executive of Marka, while adding that the acquisition of the restaurant chain would bring in profit and revenue for Marka in the current year.

This year Marka plans to expand the presence of Reem Al Bawadi – which already has six outlets in the UAE, two in Saudi Arabia and one in Bahrain – with at least two new company-owned outlets in the UAE and up to five franchised outlets in the wider MENA region. While exact locations haven’t been disclosed, some of the stores are expected to open in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

After two acquisitions made this year – including Retailcorp, a subsidiary of Istithmar World for AED220 million and a 60% stake in Cheeky Monkeys Playland and Sweet Surprises for AED30 million – Marka is expected to close two more deals in the current year.